Hey, Reddit. I don’t know how many people are actually going to read this, considering it’s the only post on this account. I had an account before, but I had to delete all of my social media accounts when this whole shitshow started and everything got hacked. Anyway, if anyone does read it, copy and paste it or something. I don’t know how long it will be before this gets taken down.
I guess I should start from the beginning. I should also mention that all the names excluding my own and the name 'Sara' are being changed. Bit of advice number one on internet safety: don’t put any personal info out there. I’m serious. Not even your name.
Anyway, I'm Ben. I’m a student at a fairly large University. This all began one day in Business 101, this dumb introductory course that all business majors are required to take. I was sitting next to my best friend from high school. We’ll call him Marcus. Marcus is a great guy, and I hate to admit it, but I had always been a little jealous of him. He got a girlfriend first, he got on the sports teams I was cut from, he got into a top fraternity when I didn’t even get a bid anywhere. What’s worse is that my parents were constantly comparing me to him. At least he never let it affect our relationship. Sure, we had drifted apart some in college, but that’s only natural. He had his frat. I had videogame club, I guess. I was glad we at least had this class once a week to catch up though, especially now that I wasn’t tagging along with him to rush parties.
It was about two months ago when he first mentioned it to me. “Hey, Ben.”
I turned to face him. We sat in the back, and it was a large enough class where we could whisper without being too obnoxious.
“You haven’t been getting out much, have you?”
I opened my mouth to protest, but he kept going.
“I mean, you’re not in a house, which makes it hard. And no offense, but without boobs or a frat brother as a bartender, you’re not really gonna fare too well at the bars being 18.”
“You know, I was thinking of rushing again next sem-”
Marcus waved his hand to dismiss me. “Nah, man. I mean, do what you want. But next semester is a long time away. Have you even pulled once since you’ve been here?”
I pulled a face of fake offense. “I told you, I got a handjob.”
“What, from your left hand? Did you do that thing where you sit on your wrist til it falls asleep so it feels like it’s someone else’s hand?”
I snorted. “Ew.”
“Look, here’s what I’m getting to. I don’t wanna see you become some nerd holed up in his dorm. You wanna forget what pussy looks like, Ben? Do you?”
I laughed shaking my head.
“You ever consider getting a fake ID?”
I tilted my head to the side. “Are you joking? I want to be able to get a job one day, I can’t have that shit on my record.”
“Please, Ben. It’s a college campus. The worst thing they do is throw it out and you wasted your money. But that won’t happen. A guy in my house has a good connection. He showed me his; it looks legit. Scans and everything. The more people I get in on it, the cheaper it’ll be. Just think about at least. He isn’t putting an order through til next week.”
The professor finally shushed us, so it wasn’t until a few minutes later that I asked what his connection was.
“Some guy on the deepweb. He’s pretty savvy with technology.” Marcus shrugged. “I can give you his number if you want.”
This, redditors, is where I made my biggest mistake. I couldn’t just accept things like Marcus. I overthought stuff, I questioned everything. “What’s the deep web?”
Marcus shrugged again, and the bell rang. “Steve will explain things.”
I want to attach screenshots of my conversation with Steve, but I had to get rid of that phone last week. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I can summarize. To be honest, Steve seemed like the stereotypical frat guy when he texted me. That’s why it surprised me when he started talking about the deep web. He was clearly excited by it. He was glad to be talking about it to someone. I could tell it was something that he wanted to show someone. It makes sense to me now. You see some fucked up shit, and it’s hard not to share it. Steve invited me over to the house a few nights later, and I was surprised he remembered my face.
“Shit man, I remember you. You came to a few rush parties, yeah?”
“You should really think about rushing next semester. I’m sure we’d take you.”
“I… Yeah, maybe. I haven’t thought about it.”
Steve walked me up to his room. He’d told me to bring a laptop, and some cash in case I did decide I wanted the ID after I saw where it came from. He took a seat on his bed, and I sat at his desk chair, watching as he turned on his laptop.
I’m not going to walk you through the whole process of getting on the deep web, because frankly, I don’t want anyone to know. I’m writing this as a warning, not to entice people. But anyway, Steve showed me it from his laptop, before teaching me how to get on.
I’m not going to lie; I was amazed. It was like amazon for every illicit thing. Page after page of different strains of weed. Then coke of varying prices (“I always pick something in the middle, so I know it isn’t complete shit,” Steve told me.) He showed me pages of experimental drugs, things I’d never heard of, or only had heard horror stories about. Krokodil (“Isn’t that the flesh eating one?” “Yeah, man.”), DMT (“It releases the same endorphins people feel right before they die.”), and a whole other slew of things I never wanted to try.
The next page he showed me was full of guns. I’m not just talking hand guns or hunting rifles, though those were there too. I mean, heavy duty weapons. Assault rifles. Automatics. Shit that was illegal.
“But how do you get it? Like, isn’t your card traced?”
He shook his head. “You’d have to be an idiot to use your card on these sites. I mean, people do, if it’s a direct sale, I guess. Or people get prepaid cards, like paypal or shit like that. I use bitcoin. It’s safest.”
Me, being the naive moron that I was thought this was the the coolest thing I’d seen in ages. It was the discovery that the black market is real, and incredibly easy to access.
“There is a catch, I guess. There’s a lot of bad shit here too. Like… actually bad. I’m talking animal torture…” He lowered his voice to a whisper, “Human trafficking… Child porn, man. Shit’s out there. And the last thing you want is to accidentally click the wrong link and have the feds knocking down your door and getting you on pedophilia charges, you know?”
I nodded. “How do I avoid it?”
He had me download what he said was a little script that was an image blocker. I would only see images until I disabled it; this way I could read a caption before deciding if I wanted to view something.
I paid for my ID, after deciding this seemed legit, and went home that night. Sleep was out of the question. I felt like I had discovered a whole new world. A world almost no one knew about at all, let alone knew how to access. Shit, 20/20 hadn’t even aired an episode on this with all of their child-internet-safety shit. I went back to some of the links Steve showed me, then explored a bit on my own. I find numerous drug sites, which got a little boring after a while. Next I found a site that made make passports which promised to scan. This shit could be dangerous if the wrong person found it. Like really dangerous.
I decided to call it a night around four am.
It wasn’t until around nine am the next day when I got up for class when I noticed the first sign of things to come.
My laptop was lit up on my desk even though I hadn’t touched it.
would like to chat” read the notification on the corner of the site I’d left open; some page about buying exotic animals.
I laughed to myself. Even the deep web has “sexy singles in my area.” If only I knew how ignorant I was. I closed out of everything and went to classes.
For the next week I was slammed with midterms. I hardly had time to eat or sleep let alone explore this newfound section of the internet, but still, it pulled me in. There was something so secret about it that drew me to it. While I could understand how Steve wanted to share it, I wanted to hoard it.
Before I deleted my old reddit account, I had been active on it for several years. I thought I had seen some weird shit. I had thought reddit (with the exception of some hardcore porn sites, I guess) to be the epitome of darkness on the internet. I should’ve just accepted what I knew. I shouldn’t have pressed on.
My fake ID arrived without a problem. It looked incredibly real. Sure, I had to take a few shots with Marcus before actually using it because of how scared I was, but sure enough, I was given a wristband into one of the best campus bars. That very night I finally managed to bring a girl back. Yeah, we only had an hour where my roommate would be gone, but it was enough. As Marcus had said before we left, “Try to last more than two minutes.”
My head was spinning a bit after the girl had left my dorm, so I pulled out my laptop to try to focus on something besides how drunk I was.
Another notification from [email protected]
. Her screenname couldn’t have been worse.
I’d asked Steve about viruses on these sorts of sites, and he told me because of the low level of traffic, most people wouldn’t even bother installing things. Still, there was some risk. “Don’t be an idiot about it,” was his final word of advice on it.
I had always liked testing limits.
I clicked the notification at the bottom, fully expecting to be directed to a porn site. Much to my surprise, however, a little chat box opened up. It looked like something from the early 2000’s; a black background with white, digital looking lettings, and a flashing cursor. Again, I couldn’t get screenshots of these, but I copied and pasted them to a document I put on a flashdrive; one of the only good ideas I’ve had throughout this whole ordeal. Hi, Ben. Good to see you are online. How are you?
Chills went down my spine. How did it know my name? I say ‘it’, because my first thought was that this was some sort of bot. A way to make money. It would start talking sexy, then ask for money if I wanted more. But it knew my name. Hello?
It pressed on, and I took a breath. Didn’t google know my name? Probably. I had to log onto my computer with my name. My name was all over. It wasn’t weird, I told myself. It’s just a bot trying to seem more personal to draw more people in. It was an advertising ploy. Was she good? I think you could have done better.
That was weird. That was really weird. Still, I shook the feeling. It’s a bot accustomed to married men, men looking for something outside of marriage. It was bashing on wives, making an affair seem enticing, lifting his confidence. That’s what I told myself. Are you just going to stare, or are you going to answer? Ben? Why are you making that face? You look confused.
Alright, this is where I got really freaked out for the first time, guys. How did she know I was making a face? This wasn’t anything standard. This was no longer some generalizable statement. That’s when I noticed it; the little light at the top center of my laptop. My webcam light. Smart boy, Ben. Such a shame for me, though. I wanted to look at you longer.
I put tape over the camera before finally getting up the courage to answer. At this point I was feeling more sober. A rush of adrenaline was making me more alert. The thoughts of the girl from twenty minutes ago were totally gone. Hey. Who is this? You can call me Sara. I already know you’re Ben. Hi, Sara. Why were you spying on me? Are you a robot? A robot? Ha. No, Ben. I’m as real as you are. I’m 22. I don’t mind that you aren’t 21 yet. How old are you really?
This is where things first started to click with me. This “Sara” or whoever the fuck she was knew I wasn’t 21. I instantly connected things to the fake ID. I was so stupid. All of my information; my name, height, address, even a photocopy of my signature had been required for the ID. And somehow this person now had access to all of it. It doesn’t matter how old I am. Please don’t message me again. That’s no fun. C’mon, Ben. I know you like to have fun. I see the things you’ve been looking at.
This is where I guess I owe you guys a confession. The deep web was full of porn. Like, intense porn. I’m not some sort of freak, but sure, I was curious. I watched some videos. But still, none of it prepared me for what was to come. Don’t ignore me, Ben. You know, you really have to be careful with this sort of thing. Didn’t Steve tell you anything? It’s a bad idea to be logged onto parts of the surface web while you’re on the deep web. Makes it easier for people to jump around. What are you talking about? You know Steve?
has gone offline]
At this point I was scared, no doubt about it. At the same time, I didn’t want to seem like some pussy and go to Steve about it. I figured he’d just laugh at me for falling for some dumb bot. But still… It knew his name. It knew my name.
Things were quiet for a few days. I was able to push Sara out of my mind. It wasn’t until the weekend that things got really weird. It started with a text from Marcus.
SMS: What the fuck, dude? You think you’re some sort of hotshot now?
What? What are you talking about?
SMS: The messages you sent to Karen.
Karen, the girl I went home with last week? I didn’t even get her phone number.
SMS: Facebook. Look, man. If you’re gonna be a dick like that to people I introduce you too, I dunno if I really want to go out anywhere with you anymore.
I had never even added Karen on Facebook, but sure enough, there she was on my recently added friends. I clicked the chat button, but all I saw was a one sided conversation, her to me, as though all of my messages had been deleted. Messages I never even sent.
‘What the fuck?’, ‘Is this some sort of joke?’, ‘You weren’t so great either, you dick!’, ‘Fuck you, don’t talk to me again!’
Her words stared back at me through the pixels of the screen, and I shut my laptop and replied to Marcus.
Dude. I didn’t send those messages to her. I think I’ve been hacked.
Facebook was first, but it seemed that Sara was more malicious than just tearing down a freshman girl’s self esteem. Sara was downright creepy. The following day, I had over two hundred notifications on my account, all reading the same thing; “Sara Cooper has requested to be tagged in your photo.” My heart jumped in my chest. When I checked my recent activity, I had apparently befriended a Sara Cooper, and then approved all the tags. Some stranger had hacked into my account and tagged herself in every single one of my photos; pictures of me with my family, me as a child, my first day of college including a picture of the sign in front of my dorm. She could see everything. The account looked normal enough. It was incredibly generic. The profile picture looked like a yearbook picture. She liked a few of the same bands I liked. I was her only friend.
I stopped getting messages from the deep web and began getting them directly from Facebook.
Hi Ben, why won’t you answer me?
Why won’t you answer me, Ben?
You’re being sort of rude, Ben.
Maybe I’ll send something to your mom to let her know what a rude son she raised.
Or maybe I’ll show your sister what sort of videos you’ve been watching.
“Jesus Christ, who the fuck are you? Why are you doing this?”
“Oh, there you are! You’re so silly sometimes, Ben. I thought you were ignoring me on purpose!”
Now, I know what you’re all thinking; why didn’t you report the account? Why didn’t you change your password? Why didn’t you get off Facebook? Here was my rationale: as long as I had the account, I could see her. She was still on my playing field. She wasn’t going to pop up somewhere else. I could see when she was online, I could keep her happy by replying.
Plus, a small part of me was still so stupidly curious.
It wasn’t until she showed up on my email that I finally started to see the seriousness of this. The first email I got was simply a “Hi, Ben”, from ‘[email protected]
’. (Yes, this is the real email. I'm not sure if it's a good idea to actually post it... But I don't see what harm it can do) Unsettling, but nothing worse than usual. My email was linked to my Facebook. It wasn’t like she hacked anything to send it. The next few emails proved me wrong.
Picture this; 18 year old college freshman, sitting up in his dorm room while his roommate is gone for the weekend. Said freshman opens up his email to get a confirmation email from amazon for a set of cutlery, ten meters of heavy duty rope, and some sort of fetishist ball gag. Said freshman drafts an email to amazon, heart racing, attempting to cancel the order. He’s trying to ignore the fact that she has access to his credit card, to his shipping address, to literally everything. He just wants the order cancelled.
“Ping. Ping.” Oh, Ben. You don’t like what I picked out? I thought it would be something fun. Like the videos you watch, Ben. The girls in those use ropes, and gags. The knives were my own creativity.
Nausea washed over me. She could see my screen. She could see me starting to cancel the order. If you send that email, I won’t be happy, Ben. Don’t send the email. Please, Ben? Please, Sir? Do you like being called Sir? Like the girls in the videos? Please don’t send the email, Sir.
I’m not exaggerating when I say it took all of my energy not to vomit then and there. Chills racked my body. The darkness of my room terrified me, but the idea of standing up to turn on a light terrified me more. The idea of even looking behind me scared me.
would like to video chat] You better accept that, Ben. Or else I could email something sweet to your Chemistry TA. I saw the messages you sent Jimmy about her rack. I wish you’d talk about my rack like that. Ben?
[Video chat accepted]
Instantly I was brought to an all black screen, and from my speakers came an outpouring of women moaning, a lewd sound that was horrifyingly distorted by being played over itself so many times. It seemed that each time I pressed the mute button, it would unmute itself just as quickly. Unplugging my speakers made it quieter, but the sound only continued to play from my laptop.
All at once, my room grew silent, but only for a moment.
“It’s so nice to finally talk to you like this, Ben.” said a voice. It sounded so close, not like it was coming from a computer, but like it could be right behind me.
“I-it’s so nice, isn’t it, Ben?” The voice cracked.
“Who is this?” I said, trying to keep my own voice steady.
“Don’t p-p-play with me, B-ben. It’s me. It’s Sa-Sarah.” A sob followed the last word. Suddenly I knew this wasn’t Sara. This woman was a victim. She was crying. She was scared.
“Can I see your face, Sara? You can see my face, wouldn’t that be fair? I want to know the sexy woman I’ve been talking to.” I said the words in a monotonous voice, but I wanted her to know I fell for it. Maybe I could finally have the advantage.
“Oh, no. No, no, no. Not yet, Ben. The f-first time you see my face will be in person. How do you like my voice, though? I p-picked it especially for you. I picked what I thought you liked, Ben.” Her voice had devolved from the occasional sob to consistent weeping, her words sounding wet, and timid.
“Yes! Oh, god, Ben it’s-”
has gone offline]
My curiosity had a body count.
It’s starting to seem like this entire post is just one big confession. Maybe it is. But when a campus wide email was sent out about the disappearance of Karen McGowan, I stayed silent. She hadn’t disappeared. She’d been murdered. She’d had her throat slit, and then she’d been undressed. She had been tied up so that her ankles and hands touched behind her back. She’d had a ball gag placed in her mouth. She’d had her photograph taken and forwarded to me in an email with the subject line “This is how I’d want you to take me”. That time I did vomit.
Marcus was the first person to bring it up to me. He wasn’t close to her, but he knew we’d hooked up, and he knew I’d sent her awful messages. He obviously didn’t suspect me, that would’ve been crazy. But he needed to get pissed at someone, so yelling at me was good enough. Shit about how she’d probably killed herself because of the messages I’d sent. I didn’t bother defending myself. She’s dead because of me.
Only Sara didn’t like Marcus’s rude texts to me. She told me so. She told me she could take care of him, if I wanted. That was the last message I got before deleting everything.
It was really after the photo of Karen when I decided I had to end this. I disabled the add-on that let me access the deep web. I made up some shit story about trying to be more present, and deleted Facebook, instagram, reddit, twitter, and my email. She had access to me on each and every social media site in one way or another. Sara Cooper had a twitter account made up entirely of retweets of everything I posted. Sara Cooper liked all my instagram posts, and made me her #mancrushmonday. Sara Cooper was stalking my every move.
I specifically remember sitting in my dorm about one month after this had all began. It was the first time I asked myself who Sara Cooper could be. The entire month had been a nightmare, a constant sensation of the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. I could tell my parents were worried with my lack of calls. Not eight weeks into the school year and my grades were dismal. I was too busy being utterly consumed by Sara to even question who she could be. Was she even a woman? Why would she need a woman to speak for her otherwise?
I hadn’t heard from her for a whole week since I had deleted everything. I doubted things could be so easy, but it seemed to be working. Another week went by, and the search for Karen was called off. There were absolutely no leads. Search and rescue teams had scoured the campus, and miles surrounding it. Nothing. Of course, I debated going to the police. I was the only one who knew the truth besides Sara. But the murder weapon was charged to my credit card. The ropes to tie her up, the ball gag. All of it linked back to me, and accompanied with my texts to her, I knew I’d be charged. I kept quiet. I did my best to convince myself this wasn’t my fault.
I felt like I could breathe again. I patched things up with Marcus, and he invited me to his frat for a party. I mingled. I talked to girls. I got a little carried away, and by that I mean belligerently drunk, but I woke up in my own bed after what seemed like the first good night’s sleep I’d had in ages, at least until I heard it. That familiar noise that now gave me chills.
“Ping. Ping.” It was good to see you back at the house again, Ben. I’m really glad I could show you all of this stuff. You got pretty drunk, haha. You probably don’t remember me walking you back, but everything is okay now. I redownloaded access to the deep web for you. Please don’t delete it again, okay, Ben? I’m trusting you. Marcus is living in the house with me next semester, and I really like that guy. It would suck for me to have to do something to him, just because you can’t handle a little prank, wouldn’t it? Try not to be so much of a pussy, and you might even get a bid here.
Anyway Reddit, that’s where my story ends. I’m posting this under a new username from a library computer, but honestly, nowhere is safe anymore. I feel like Sara, or… Well, Steve, I guess is running my life now. I don’t know where to turn.
Getting a computer virus submitted by
has happened to many users in some fashion or another. To most, it is simply a mild inconvenience, requiring a cleanup
and then installing that antivirus program that you’ve been meaning to install but never got around to. But in other cases, it can be a complete disaster
, with your computer turning into a very expensive brick which which no amount of antivirus can protect.
In this list, we will highlight some of the worst and notorious computer viruses that have caused a lot of damage in real life
. And since people usually equate general malware like worms and trojan horses as viruses, we’re including them as well. These malware have caused tremendous harm, amounting to billions of dollars and disrupting critical real life infrastructure. Here are the 10 most famous and malicious computer viruses
. Recommended Reading: 10 Signs Your PC Has Been Compromised
The ILOVEYOU virus is considered one of the most virulent computer virus ever created
and it’s not hard to see why. The virus managed to wreck havoc on computer systems all over the world, causing damages totaling in at an
of $10 billion. 10% of the world’s Internet-connected computers were believed to have been infected. It was so bad that governments and large corporations took their mailing system offline
to prevent infection.
The virus was created by two Filipino programers, Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman. What it did was use social engineering to get people to click on the attachment
; in this case, a love confession
. The attachment was actually a script that poses as a TXT file, due to Windows at the time hiding the actual extension of the file. Once clicked, it will send itself to everyone in the user’s mailing list and proceed to overwrite files with itself, making the computer unbootable. The two were never charged,
as there were no laws about malware. This led to the enactment of the E-Commerce Law
to address the problem.
2. Code Red
Code Red first surfaced on 2001 and was discovered by two eEye Digital Security employees. It was named Code Red
because the the pair were drinking Code Red Mountain Dew
at the time of discovery. The worm targeted computers with Microsoft IIS web server installed
, exploiting a buffer overflow problem in the system. It leaves very little trace on the hard disk as it is able to run entirely on memory, with a size of 3,569 bytes. Once infected, it will proceed to make a hundred copies of itself but due to a bug in the programming, it will duplicate even more and ends up eating a lot of the systems resources.
It will then launch a denial of service attack on several IP address, famous among them the website of the White House
. It also allows backdoor access to the server, allowing for remote access to the machine. The most memorable symptom is the message it leaves behind on affected web pages, "Hacked By Chinese!"
, which has become a meme itself. A patch was later released and it was estimate that it caused
$2 billion in lost productivity. A total of 1-2 million servers were affected
, which is amazing when you consider there were 6 million IIS servers at the time.
Named after an exotic dancer from Florida, it was created by David L. Smith in 1999. It started as an infected Word document
that was posted up on the alt.sex usenet group, claiming to be a list of passwords for pornographic sites. This got people curious and when it was downloaded and opened, it would trigger the macro inside and unleash its payload. The virus will mail itself to the top 50 people in the user’s email address book
and this caused an increase of email traffic, disrupting the email services of governments and corporations. It also sometimes corrupted documents
by inserting a Simpsons reference into them.
📷via MSN Canada
Smith was eventually caught
when they traced the Word document to him. The file was uploaded using a stolen AOL account and with their help, law enforcement was able to arrest him less than a week since the outbreak began.He cooperated with the FBI in capturing other virus creators
, famous among them the creator of the Anna Kournikova virus. For his cooperation, he served only 20 months and paid a fine of $5000 of his 10 year sentence. The virus reportedly
caused $80 million in damages.
4. Sasser A Windows worm first discovered in 2004
, it was created by computer science student Sven Jaschan, who also created the Netsky worm. While the payload itself may be seen as simply annoying (it slows down and crashes the computer, while making it hard to reset without cutting the power), the effects were incredibly disruptive, with millions of computers being infected, and important, critical infrastructure affected
. The worm took advantage of a buffer overflow vulnerability in Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS), which controls the security policy of local accounts causing crashes to the computer. It will also use the system resources to propagate itself to other machines through the Internet and infect others automatically.
The effects of the virus were widespread as while the exploit was already patched, many computers haven’t updated. This led to more than a million infections
, taking out critical infrastructures, such as
airlines, news agencies, public transportation, hospitals, public transport, etc. Overall, the damage was estimated
to have cost $18 billion. Jaschen was tried as a minor
a 21 month suspended sentence.
Zeus is a Trojan horse made to infect Windows computers so that it will perform various criminal tasks. The most common of these tasks are usually man-in-the-browser keylogging and form grabbing
. The majority of computers were infected either through drive-by downloads or phishing scams. First identified in 2009, it managed to compromise
thousands of FTP accounts and computers from large multinational corporations and banks
such as Amazon, Oracle, Bank of America, Cisco, etc. Controllers of the Zeus botnet used it to steal the login credentials of social network, email and banking accounts.
In the US alone, it was estimated
that more than 1 million computers were infected,
with 25% in the US. The entire operation was sophisticated, involving people from around the world to act as money mules to smuggle and transfer cash to the ringleaders in Eastern Europe. About $70 million were stolen and in possession of the ring. 100 people were arrested
in connection of the operation. In late 2010, the creator of Zeus announced
his retirement but many experts believe this to be false.
Also known as Downup
, Conficker is a worm of unknown authorship for Windows that made its first appearance in 2008. The name comes form the English word, configure and a German pejorative.It infects computers using flaws in the OS
to create a botnet. The malware was able to infect
more than 9 millions computers all around the world, affecting governments, businesses and individuals. It was one of the largest known worm infections to ever surface
causing an estimate
damage of $9 billion.
The worm works by exploiting a network service vulnerability
that was present and unpatched in Windows. Once infected, the worm will then reset account lockout policies, block access to Windows update and antivirus sites, turn off certain services and lock out user accounts among many. Then, it proceeds to install software that will turn the computer into a botnet slave
and scareware to scam money off the user. Microsoft later provided a fix and patch with many antivirus vendors providing updates to their definitions.
Believed to have been created by the Israeli Defence Force together with the American Government, Stuxnet is an example of a virus created for the purpose of cyberwarfare
, as it was intended to disrupt the nuclear efforts of the Iranians. It was estimated that Stuxnet has managed
to ruin one fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and that nearly 60% of infections were concentrated in Iran.
The computer worm was designed to attack industrial Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), which allows for automation of processes in machinery
. It specifically aimed at those created by Siemens and was spread through infected USB drives. If the infected computer didn’t contain Siemens software, it would lay dormant and infect others in a limited fashion as to not give itself away. If the software is there, it will then proceed to alter the speed of the machinery, causing it to tear apart. Siemens eventually found a way to remove the malware from their software.
Surfacing in 2004, Mydoom was a worm for Windows
that became one of the fastest
spreading email worm since ILOVEYOU. The author is unknown and it is believed that the creator was paid to create it since it contains the text message, “andy; I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry,”. It was named by McAfee employee Craig Schmugar, one of the people who had originally discovered it. ‘mydom’ was a line of text in the program’s code (my domain) and sensing
this was going to be big, added ‘doom’ into it.
📷via Virus.Wikidot.com The worm spreads itself by appearing as an email transmission error and contains an attachment of itself
. Once executed, it will send itself to email addresses that are in a user’s address book and copies itself to any P2P program’s folder to propagate itself through that network. The payload itself is twofold: first it opens up a backdoor to allow remote access and second it launches a denial of service attack on the controversial SCO Group. It was believed that the worm was created to disrupt SCO
due to conflict
over ownership of some Linux code. It caused an estimate
of $38.5 billion in damages and the worm is still active in some form today.
CryptoLocker is a form of Trojan horse ransomware
targeted at computers running Windows. It uses several methods to spread itself
, such as email, and once a computer is infected, it will proceed to encrypt certain files on the hard drive and any mounted storage connected to it with RSA public key cryptography. While it is easy enough to remove the malware from the computer, the files will still remain encrypted. The only way to unlock the files is to pay a ransom by a deadline
. If the deadline is not met, the ransom will increase significantly or the decryption keys deleted. The ransom usually amount to $400 in prepaid cash or bitcoin.
The ransom operation was eventually stopped when law enforcement agencies and security companies managed to take control part of the botnet operating CryptoLocker and Zeus
. Evgeniy Bogachev, the ring leader, was charged
and the encryption keys were released to the affected computers. From data collected from the raid, the number of infections is estimated
to be 500,000, with the number of those who paid the ransom to be at 1.3%, amounting to $3 million.
Though not as damaging as the rest of the malware on this list, this is one of the few Mac malware to have gain notoriety
as it showed that Macs are not immune. The Trojan was first discovered in 2011
The good news is that if it is infected
, it is simply localized to that specific user’s account
. The bad news
is that more than 600,000 Macs were infected, including 274 Macs in the Cupertino area, the headquarters of Apple. Oracle published a fix for the exploit
with Apple releasing an update to remove Flashback from people’s Mac. It is still out in the wild, with an estimate
of 22,000 Macs still infected as of 2014.
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